Cut Creek Farms is a second-generation farm in Southern Humboldt. Nicole and Robb run the farm as husband and wife, raising their family and making a living growing cannabis. They want to share the story of how Cut Creek came to be, and where it is headed. This is the first in a two-part series. This week we hear from Nicole, check back next week to hear from Robb!
I grew up here in Southern Humboldt. When I was 4 years old, my family moved up to Palo Verde, and we started building our homestead. It took about a year to build, and for that year we lived in the neighbor’s cabin, with no running water. It must have been a drought, because I remember that water was really hard to come by. We used to bathe in a pond.
Back then, it was all about community. There was a one-room schoolhouse where we all used to go to, from kindergarten to sixth grade. I loved my childhood out there, I wouldn’t change it at all. I’m still good friends with a lot of the kids I grew up with out there.
“It was a struggle, because they would take everything, and people didn’t grow the amount that they grow nowadays.”
Of course, everything wasn’t perfect back then. CAMP was in your face during the summer time. I would call it like Vietnam. I have memories of guys with machine guns, hanging out of helicopters, and all of us kids would go outside and flip them off, because that was our livelihood!
They would start up on top of the ridge, and sweep down the hill all the way to the creek. They would destroy anything that had to do with cannabis. Some years were good years, and some years were bad years. It was a struggle, because they would take everything, and people didn’t grow the amount that they grow nowadays.
We were definitely homesteaders. That was like the whole idea back in the Eighties and early Nineties, and then it started shifting. It’s changed a lot. I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s good or bad. Now it’s mostly people trying to make money, when it used to be families sustaining themselves.
“Take care of your land, and your land will take care of you.”
After I turned 18, I would work summers on the farm to help pay for college and traveling. Eventually I decided to make it more of a career, and shortly after that, I met my husband Robb. We purchased the farm about seven years ago, and now we’re responsible for everything.
Now Robb handles most of the farming aspect, and he’s more of the PR person. I like to be more behind the scenes, making sure everything at the homestead runs smoothly. I do all the everyday bookkeeping, bill paying, raising the kids, keeping everything clean, and so on.
“We are watching the end of an era, and a new era has started.”
I love being part of the industry and following the path that started with older generations. Through our farm, we continue to pass down their ideas and values. Take care of your land, and your land will take care of you.
We are watching the end of an era, and a new era has started. It’s difficult to figure out where you fit in into this new era of cannabis. There’s a part of me that is sad to see the old way go, but at this point, we’ve all just got to keep powering through and trying to find our niche.
“Sometimes I worry about the unknown, and not knowing if there will be room for small-time farmers.”
Cut Creek is all about the love that we have for our land and our product. Some of our techniques, we have been using for the last 30 years. Like cold curing. That’s when you cure your product in a root cellar, the same way you would keep your vegetables. A lot of people think this is a new, up-and-coming method. Robb and I just laugh, because we’ve been doing it for generations!
I hope that as the business changes, people really do their research about small farms, what they stand by, and their farming practices, instead of just buying whatever looks cool on the shelf. Support your local farmers. If we work together, we can succeed.
Sometimes I worry about the unknown, and not knowing if there will be room for small-time farmers. There are people out there with lot of money, and if they want to start doing this, they can very easily push people like us out.
“There are so many amazing small-time growers here, who have so much to offer the cannabis culture.”
It would make our lives easier to know that this business can remain sustainable for small farmers. I hope that families like us can still do what we want to do. I hope there’s enough room for all of us, in this new era of cannabis.
Southern Humboldt could become like the Napa Valley of cannabis. There are so many amazing small-time growers here, who have so much to offer the cannabis culture. I hope that we can help each other grow, and put ourselves on the map as the best farming area for cannabis.